Wednesday, February 27, 2013

The Golder Case case brief

The Golder Case (case brief summary)
(European Court of Human Rights, 1975)

-Prisoner in Great Britain accused in a riot.
-He attempted to contact his legislator by mail to explain his wrongful accusation, but the letter was
not allowed to leave the prison.
-It came to light that he hadn’t been a part of the riot. Although never charged, his prison record reflected his being on the list.
-He attempted to petition the Secretary of State to request a transfer and to request he be allowed to contact a civil lawyer.
-The prison also stopped this letter.
-The prisoner brought a cause of action for violation of the Convention for the Protection of Human Rights, which the UK had signed.

HOLDING 1: The prison violated the treaty b/c Article 6, sec. 1 said “everyone
is entitled to a fair and public hearing within a reasonable amount of time.”

ANALYSIS (Holding 1):
-The right to access constitutes an inherent element of Art 6, §1.
-It was not for the prison or Secretary to decide on the prisoner’s possible case against the prison.

HOLDING 2: The prison violated Article 8, §§1 and 2 that “everyone has a right to respect for…his correspondence” and “there shall be no interference by a public authority with the exercise of this right.

ANALYSIS (Holding 2):
-Impeding correspondence is interference.
-Court looked to express sources (was more objective)

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